A day after people gathered in large numbers outside liquor vends in various parts of the state, Punjab is expected to decide today on allowing home delivery of alcohol instead of allowing people to stand in queue and risk a spike in Covid-19 cases.
The state excise department has submitted a proposal in this regard to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who is also the state’s Excise and Taxation Minister.
Punjab’s Excise and Taxation Commissioner Vivek Partap Singh told The Indian Express that a “decision will be taken today”. He added that the sentiment behind the proposal was that social distancing guidelines were disregarded by tipplers who made a beeline for the liquor stores.
. “Punjab is under curfew. In our state shops are opening only between 9 AM and 1 PM. When we are taking so much of caution, we cannot let it be free for all,” Singh said.
He added that the home delivery will only be done during the lockdown period.
Amarinder Singh was the first Chief Minister to have written to Centre seeking permission for opening of liquor vends as the state was losing revenue to the tune of Rs 500 crore every month.
The Centre had first rejected the proposal but then allowed vends to operate outside containment zones from Monday.